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December 2018 Newsletter



Many of you have attended one of the various recent BQA certification training sessions offered around the county. If you have not yet been certified, you need to go on-line and get the training. No more in person meetings are currently scheduled in Grant county.

This training is being offered because some large packers and processors have announced that effective January 1, 2019, they will only purchase from farms that are BQA or FARM Certified. Beginning in Jan 2020, additional processors will also require BQA or FARM certification from their suppliers (you). Most dairies are already FARM certified.

The January 1, 2019 BQA Requirement impacts those selling finished beef breeds of cattle and will be in effect for all markets and all private treaty transactions. Farmers need to work with their marketing partners or buyers if selling direct, to ensure correct documentation of BQA or FARM certification. This certification includes having a signed VCPR form from your veterinarian. Individual treatment records must be kept of antibiotic use.

Beef producers created the voluntary Beef Quality Assurance Program in 1987 to assist each other in raising, feeding and harvesting high quality beef. By participating in BQA and adopting BQA production practices, you are helping to answer the call from the packers’ consumers, for safe beef raised in a humane manner.

Go to http://www.bqa.org/ to do your certification on line. Please call and talk to Sally if you have questions or if you need a VCRP form signed.


UW-Extension will offer a number of meetings across the state for farmers interested in learning about the new Dairy Revenue Protection program, a new federal insurance tool, with a quarterly payout to dairy farms when milk revenue falls below their insured revenue level.

Mark Stephenson, Director of the UW-Center for Dairy Profitability, will provide a comprehensive overview of the Dairy Revenue Protection program and updates to the FSA Dairy Margin Protection Program (MPP), as another tool for dairy farmers when milk prices are low. Important changes to the MPP have been introduced in the Farm Bill that may make this program worth a second look.

The meeting in Grant County will be held February 5th at 10 am at the Grant County Fairgrounds. The meeting is free. Please register for meeting materials. For registration, more information and questions, contact the UW-Extension office at 723-2125.


The continued rainy, warm for December weather has been really hard on everyone’s spring calves. Fall calves are at least still on the cow and getting some antibodies and protection from the milk, but even they are stressed. Everyone has been busy finally getting crops in and getting bales moved. If you have not yet weaned calves, remember the best time to vaccinate them is when they are still on the cow—2-3 weeks before weaning and then booster at weaning.

If you are seeing signs of pneumonia in your weaned calves, don’t wait to treat them. A few calves coughing can turn into a whole group off-feed with a few dead in a hurry. Sally can help you with getting a VFD for antibiotics in the feed if the group is still eating. You may still need to individually inject the sickest ones that are off-feed.

Antibiotics and sulfas are also available to mix in the water for weaned calves. We have to be careful, though, no to throw sick calves off water due to the taste of the medication. Calves that are sick and running a fever need to drink more water, not less. Calves that are not drinking will not eat, either.

Please talk to Sally for calf treatment options. We have options. The best way to tell what kind of infection is causing the signs is to post a calf that has died. The new PCR tests run at the diagnostic lab can identify viruses and bacteria even in calves that have been treated.

Some calves will benefit from getting a dose of Inforce 3 in the nose when a virus is going through a group. Anytime you run calves through the chute, you are stressing them. Whether you are running them through to treat or to vaccinate, remember, it is another stressor. If you can get them treated in the feed, you can avoid that stress.


We are happy to be having Craig Humphreys working while Sally was gone before Christmas and while Cari was gone during Christmas. He will also be working some for us in January. We appreciate Craig’s help and hope you do, too.


A recent study at UC-Davis found that whether calves were disbudded at 3 days or 35 days with a hot iron, the healing took 62 days. Performing the procedure at younger ages did not improve the welfare outcome. Calf gain consumption was the same between groups and the same as calves not dehorned.

Dehorning paste is a good option to use if your calves are housing individually and you can apply the paste as soon as horn buds can be felt through the skin. If you wait until the horns are poking through the hair, the paste will not penetrate deeply enough to kill the horn.


What factors do you consider when you are making decisions for your farm? Do you look for cost? Return on investment? Improved efficiency? Profitability? While these factors may all be important, we challenge you to also consider these three:

  • Consistency
  • Comfort
  • Calm

These three factors take into consideration how your decisions will affect your animals—your very important asset! Whether you are working with calves or adult cattle, beef or dairy, pigs or sheep or goats, if you work toward improving your animal’s environment and care, they will reward you with better health and production.


We wish you success in the coming year and thank you for your continued trust in our service to you and your animals. We work to continue to improve and meet your needs. This has been a tough year for farmers. We appreciate your business and look forward to better prices next year.

Everyone at Lancaster Vet Clinic


Committed to the health of your livestock and pets.